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Join us for worship on Sundays at 10:00
- Please join us after the service in the Van Roon Community Hall for the HeBrews Café, refreshments and fellowship before continuing on with your day.
- Reminder that a congregational meeting to approve the recommendation of the roof project will convene at 11:15 AM this Sunday in the Van Roon Community Hall. Please join us for this important announcement and decision.
- 2024 Stewardship Information and Pledge Cards were sent out by email this week. Please look for your yours and reply by Sunday, November 26. Thank you for your ongoing and generous support.
- Super Saturday Sundae, our annual children’s Christmas craft day is going to be held on Saturday, December 2 from 2:00 to 4:30. Crafts, music, and food are all part of this festive day. Tickets are available at the church office.
- Women’s Advent Service is going to be held on Monday, December 4 at 7:00. A service of carols, communion, and candlelight will be followed by a reception in the Van Roon Community Hall. Donation of dainties will be warmly welcomed if brought to the church by Sunday, December 3.
- Our goal this year is to provide Christmas Hampers to 55 families whose names are provided by the Winnipeg Cheer Board. In addition to a hamper of groceries, every child in the receiving household is given a wrapped gift. There are many ways to participate in this year’s hamper program and you can learn about them all by clicking here: White Gift and Hamper Program
Welcome to worship for Sunday, November 19, 2023.
This past week we sent out our annual stewardship package. It is an invitation to make a pledge in support of this ministry for 2024. I hope you will look for it, read it, ask any questions you may have, and respond accordingly.
One of the most memorable stewardship sermons I ever heard was preached by my friend and mentor the Rev. Dr. Bob Galston. Bob was the minister at Charleswood when I arrived in 1994 and with whom I worked for the following four years. Bob talked about all the different requests we get from charities and organizations asking for donations. He talked about how so many of them were entirely worthy of support. He didn’t make a claim that the church needed or deserved our donations any more than so many other voices asking for money. BUT, he said, only the members of a church can support a church. The church didn’t need to be more important than other charities, it just needed to be most important to him. Which is why he chose to give most to the church.
Many years we focus on how the church makes a difference in many people’s lives. And it does. Our ministry makes a difference to the community we have been a part of for 101 years. It makes a difference to the fifty plus families who receive a Christmas Hamper each year. It makes a difference to grieving families who are welcomed, fed, and comforted here. It makes a difference to the people of Community Ventures who gather in our basement during the week.
It makes a difference to the inner-city ministries we support in turn. It makes a difference to colleges, outreach organizations and overseas partners who benefit from our gifts to the Mission and Service Fund. And more. Charleswood United Church makes a difference.
But we hope it makes a difference to you. For a stewardship theme this year I chose Community and Compassion in order to be crystal clear about the difference I think a church makes in the lives of people who aspire to be joyful and fulfilled. I keep reading about the crisis of loneliness, how people are feeling more and more isolated from one another, and how loneliness feeds into addictions and poor mental health. And I believe it. So, what is the antidote to loneliness if not company, or more accurately, community. Healthy and vital churches may be said to be incarnational (to use a theological word). They are filled with people living incarnationally (a word which literally means ‘in the flesh’) lives. We gather, we sing, we pray, we laugh, we cry, and we drink coffee. And we do so in the company of one another. Community makes a difference to human flourishing and at Charleswood we strive to make that a reality.
More than that, we seek to learn about, and offer, compassion in a hurting world. In virtual worlds it may not matter how we treat one another but in reality nothing could be more important. Compassion is nothing less than the love for one another that brings healing and transformation in its wake. By being attentive to a narrative and a spirit which embody compassion we make a difference in the lives of ourselves and our neighbours.
I don’t like to ask for money (well, not often). But when I do so for the church it is loudly and proudly. There are many ways to be generous and many places whose needs are great, but if you have found that Charleswood United Church has added to the value of your being through the gifts of community and compassion, I hope you will join me in supporting the church in the present and in the year to come.
Grace and peace,
- For news and events please have a look at Life & Work on our website: Life and Work
- Did you know you can support this ministry by e-transfer, automatic withdrawal (PAR), and gifted securities, in addition to weekly or monthly cheques? For Offering Information please visit: https://charleswoodunited.org/support/ Thank you for your generous support.
- Through the United Church of Canada’s membership in the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, an appeal for donations has been issued for the Humanitarian Crisis in the Middle East. For more information and to donate please visit: Humanitarian Crisis in the Middle East Appeal
- Michael Wilson’s book “A Pastoral Pandemic: Remaining Connected in a Time of Disconnection” is available in store and online through CommonWord Bookstore (Canadian Mennonite University). For more information visit: https://www.commonword.ca/go/3408.
- Share the service with friends by forwarding this email or using this link: https://youtu.be/Weu0tctoDVg
- The reading for this week’s service can be found at: Matthew 25:14-29